alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Monday, June 20, 2011

Poem: 'bellwether' ~ for Char

-
-
Char's image at her post wondering


bellwether

she has gone before
us
you and I
loping along
in this woolly herd
looking for something
green to eat
and return it
to the earth
transformed

I hear the distant
tinkle
of a bell
softened
in the rising earth
of the hill between us




My heart doesn't understand what my ears hear. Our friend Char of ramblins passed away suddenly June 6. She was just 53 years young. On the sidebar at her blog she had said:

life is too short to waste a single day:
eat cookies, dance when no one is looking,
and try to be as happy as you can.

She also quoted Charles de Lint:

When it's all said and done, all roads lead to the same end. 
So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it. 

 Another way of saying it is in one of her images — always simple, luxuriant and tender . . . 




You seem to be gone, but I still see, hear, and feel you, friend.
-
-

53 comments:

Evelyn said...

beautiful post. So sorry about the loss of your friend.

missing moments said...

Oh, Ruth, this was so beautiful and you picked just the right image. How does one explain the unexplainable? I was just beginning to get to know her.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

This news is a punch in the gut — in the winded exasperation that follows, your poem helps soften the pain and calm the shock, helps us to see and feel the bewilderment we are left in as the threshold, perhaps, of some deeper understanding, one that we may not know how to utter, but can hear and instantly recognize in the "distant tinkle" of the bell you evoke. The last words: "rising earth of the hill between us" will accompany me all day as I ponder Char's trail and our own walks up and over that hill.

Ginnie said...

I didn't know her, nor did I even know about her, but I have tears in my eyes....

George said...

A lovely, moving tribute, Ruth. I didn't follow Ramblins, so I didn't know anything about Char. I'm sorry for her death, however, and for your loss. As your poem notes, however, we are only separated by a hill, over which we, too, shall pass.

Deslilas said...

I hope she'll meet her other life as she wrote on the middle of May

"in my other life....



i would live in a house shaped like a triangle on the beach...somewhere warm and happy. where children laugh and adults giggle and the air smells like warm cinnamon cookies baking in the oven. "

Lilith said...

I didn't know her either but wish I had. A wonderful reminder to enjoy today and quit worrying about tomorrow.

Susan said...

I'm crying again over your tender words of love for someone you never met, but felt as if you knew, because of the kinship of words and pictures. Thank you for this.

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

Ruth, beautiful poem, so smooth. I'm sorry about your friend. Life is really short and sometimes cruel.

oa.s

Bonnie said...

A beautiful tribute to your friend Ruth. I did not know Char, but have read a few posts by people that are truly pained at her loss.
I like how you marry her images to your text - it gives us a little feel for her.

erin said...

oh my. oh.

My heart doesn't understand what my ears hear. no, it doesn't, does it?

xo
erin

Leena said...

Your empathy and ability to express it is touching - I am with you.

The Bug said...

What a lovely tribute. Brought tears to my eyes. I think I'll share it with Mike - both for the sheep reference & the fact that his mother is preparing to take that journey.

hedgewitch said...

How sad. Though I never read her, you make her words and spirit plain, both in your poem and in her own images and words. We're all leaves on the same tree, never knowing when we'll drop, and life is indeed too short not to savor every moment. My sympathies to all who knew this beautiful soul.

deb colarossi said...

Ruth.
oh.

I am in tears. How profoundly perfect is your heart.

Brendan said...

This is such anonymous business, despite the community we share. A blog can stop in mid-sentence and we may never find out what happened. Thanks for putting a marker up in the form of this sweet poem, acknowledging the work that had been done here and the work our departed carry on for us, preparing (some might say harrowing or hallowing) the way. Saddest -- yet perhaps most natural -- is that so much yearning and expression simply ends. It's good to remember those who have gone before. Have you ever read M.S. Merwin's "Lament to the Makers"? It's a song to his generation. Great work, Ruth. - Brendan

Old 333 said...

How terrible. A lovely memorial. Sorrow and beauty often go hand in hand, perhaps to remind us of something. Thanks for sharing this.

Peter

Jeanie said...

I never knew Char's blog, and after seeing what you have described, I am doubly sad -- for those of us who never discovered her, of course, and for those who did. So very sorry, Ruth. This is a beautiful tribute.

Pat said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. This is a wonderful tribute to her. She died way to young.

Ruth said...

Friends, in my comment responses to you, I am going to include quotes Char had on her 'quotes' page at ramblins.

Ruth said...

Evelyn, when it's so sudden, you wonder what hit you.

From Char's quotes:

we can only be said to be alive in those moments where our heart is conscious of our treasures. ~ thornton wilder

Ruth said...

Reena, that's how I feel too, just the beginning.

From Char's quotes:
the finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race ~ susan st. james

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, in response to your gut punch, I'll quote from Char's quotation page, from someone else who had her own gut punch too:

i wanted a perfect ending. now i learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is going to happen next. delicious ambiguity. ~ gilda radner

Ruth said...

Boots, I don't know how to understand or think about it. Here's something Char liked:

most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine. ~ ralph waldo emerson

What can we make of such passing shadows?

Ruth said...

George, thank you. Char clearly had that sense, for she treasured this quote:

twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did do. so throw off the bowlines. catch the trade winds in your sails. explore. dream. discover. ~ mark twain

Is this not how you wish to live?

Ruth said...

Oh Daniel, thank you. Just tears reading this from her, that you brought us here. Your comment is partly why I wanted to bring in quotes from her pages too. I think this one goes well with what you quoted from her:

dream lofty dreams. and as you dream, so shall you become. your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be, your idea is the prophesy of what you shall at last unveil. ~ james allen

Ruth said...

Lilith, yes. She loved this quote:

when you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. ~ buddha

Ruth said...

Susie, this has been so hard, especially for you. Don't you think this quote from Char speaks about her?

the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is a little something "extra". ~ jimmy johnson

Ruth said...

Thank you, OA.S. do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ theodore roosevelt

Ruth said...

Bonnie, she was so honest and lovely. You can see from these quotes from her pages how she envisioned the world . . .

who by worrying can add a single hour to his(her) life? matthew 6:27

Ruth said...

Erin, here it is upon us. What next?

Char put this before herself:
courage is to never let your actions be influenced by your fears. ~ arthur koestler

Ruth said...

Leena, yes, you are. You are always here with me. Isn't it amazing? It's like you planted a seed in my heart, like in this . . .

don't judge each day by what you harvest but by the seeds you've planted. ~ robert louis stevenson

Ruth said...

Dana, I'm sorry to hear about Mike's mother. Char must have found comfort from this:

memories are the treasures we keep locked deep within the storehouse of our souls, to keep our hearts warm when we are lonely. ~ becky aligada

My thoughts are with you, Mike and his family.

Ruth said...

Hedgewitch, thank you for your heart here. We are truly from one tree. And Char was one who could present the loveliest expressions in simple ways. She liked this:

it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. ~ laura ingalls wilder

What draws us to a person? What constitutes loveliness that speaks to our hearts?

Ruth said...

Dear Deb, we comfort one another. Don't you feel that Char understood herself, accepted and loved herself? I think listened to this:

too many over value what they are not and under value what they are. ~ malcolm forbes

Ruth said...

Brendan, I hadn't heard about Merwin's anthology before. What a profound honor he bestows. Some collect personal anthologies, something I would like to do, of my favorite poems. Why not write poems to our favorite authors and poets? It's brilliant. You're right that we need to pause, and I wish we'd do it more while folks are still living.

Char has this on her quote page; she loved A Year with Rilke:

and now we welcome the new year - full of things that have never been seen. ~ rilke

Ruth said...

Thanks, Peter, oh yes it's true, sorrow and beauty do come together sometimes. It is so bittersweet to think of Char, her talent, her heart, what she leaves us.

This from her:
whatever you are, be a good one. ~ abe lincoln

Ruth said...

Jeanie, thank you. She will be missed, and is already.

for a long time she only flew when she thought no one else was watching. ~ story people

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pat. I think you can relate to this from Janis Joplin that Char liked:

don't compromise yourself - you're all you've got. ~ janis joplin

George said...

Another synchronicity, Ruth, for the Mark Twain quote you used in your response to my comments is one that is always featured in the sidebar of Transit Notes. As Frost said, we all sit 'round and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.

Ruth said...

George, as soon as I read it, I thought of you. Whether it was tucked in my memory from your transit notes sidebar, or just in my knowing of you, it suits you to a T.

California Girl said...

Beautiful image & verses for the passing of your blogging friend. Sorry I did not know her work.

Margaret said...

You have done a beautiful thing here, using her words to yet speak one last time. Very touching.

Ruth said...

California Girl, I'm sorry you didn't know Char and her posts too. This still hasn't sunk in.

Ruth said...

Margaret, thanks for gathering with us for Char.

ds said...

I did not know her, but I think I would have liked her. So sorry for your loss, Ruth. Beautiful tribute--she becomes "known" through it.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

There's something eerie, sad and lovely about your replying to the comments using quotes from Char's own quotations page, like the sound of the tinkling bell in your poem.

Ruth said...

DS, she was you, and me. She was us.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, it felt right, I could hear the rhythm, softly.

Oliag said...

Dear Ruth...what can I say...this is the perfect tribute to someone who loved words and images and people as Char did. I love that you are sending out bits of her favorite quotes with each comment...but most of all I love your poem. I hope her family see it at some point and realize how loved she is...

xoxo

Amy@Souldipper said...

Oh no, Ruth! Now we have a new death experience. Do bloggers truly die? I had put aside death for the last year and a half. It was reserved only for those who knew themselves to be journeying onward, who were over 120 and who were distance acquaintances of fifth cousins.

There is only one thing worse than a thief. It is a sneak thief.

My heart is sad for your loss, Ruth.

Loring Wirbel said...

Too many very young people leaving us too soon, but you are there to chronicle each moment.

deb colarossi said...

Ruth.

I love you.

I don't even want to try to write , because it will sound like the effort,
I want nothing but you feeling a bit of how you make me/others feel.

I wonder if you know how very incredible you are?

aside from your talent, your art, your spirit, your grace,

you empower. that's a rare rare thing. each post above, each poem and line and photo is powerful and exquisite and moving. I think , perhaps,
or yes, I know, that is why I'm always a little "afraid" to come here. does that make sense? one cannot help but be changed and sometimes one is afraid.